Little Rock, Arkansas
Cullen Bullard, Board Member
Nick has a BS in Medical Technology and currently serves as a Regional Operations Director for his company. He is an avid golfer and over the last several years has become quite obsessed with fly fishing. His first experience with a fly rod occurred in 2014 and he has not looked back. When not on the water or the golf course, he enjoys tying new flies (even though he may not know their names or what they are supposed to imitate), traveling and spending time with his 2 boxers. The Mayfly Project is the perfect platform for him to teach kids his passion of fly fishing and the outdoors while also allowing him to offer advice on life experiences at the same time.
Peyton E. Rice MD
Little Rock, Arkansas
Dr. Rice has been fly fishing the Little Red River for over 25 years. He has fished all over the US and has made trips to Chile. Favorite way to chase trout is with a dry fly and in his spare time he is an avid tyer. The Mayfly Project is a way for him to give back to a sport that has given him so much!
Laura has been fly fishing for over 12 years. With a lifetime goal to catch a fish on a fly rod in every state she has knocked 11 states off the list. Laura's favorite way to chase trout is throwing gnarly streamers for big browns!
Mike has over 30 years of fly fishing experience. He is an expert on swinging and tying soft hackles. Though most of his fishing is done on small streams his favorite fish to chase with a fly rod is Coho Salmon.
The Mayfly Project was founded in 2015 by Jess. Jess is a life-long outdoorsman and avid fly fisherman. In 2008, Jess had the opportunity to work as a fishing guide in Alaska. While away from his family and everything he knew he realized how important time in on the river was to him, and how it could always be his home away from home. Later, after graduating college, he travel across the country with work. Again, even when he was away from home, he always felt comforted and "at home" if he had his fly rod with him.
Matt grew up in a small town in southwest Arkansas, and with several lakes and the Ouachita National Forest just a few miles away, he spent a lot of his youth outdoors. He was introduced to fly fishing by his grandfather at a young age, and while he admits he may not recall much about those first instructions, the interest has never gone away. Matt enjoys spending his free time these days fly fishing on the Little Missouri River. He hopes that through mentoring with TMP he will be able to spark an interest in young people in the same way. Matt is excited to help introduce them to something that will encourage them to get outdoors, explore, and enjoy all that spending time on the water has to offer.
Littleton, Colorado Heather was born and raised in a very small town (Kushequa) in Northwest Pennsylvania. Growing up she spent the summers with her family spin fishing the small creeks in the Allegheny National Forest. Shortly after moving to Colorado, she decided to take up fly fishing and it has been her passion/obession! Heather is very active with Trout Unlimited serving as the president of The Greenbacks/Colorado Trout Unlimited. As a part of this role, she spends the majority of her time and focus on engaging, educating and empowering the younger generation to become our next conservation stewards. The Mayfly Project is the perfect opportunity to tap into existing Trout Unlimited resources all while sharing her passion with a group of kids who may not have the opportunity to get out on the water!
Niki is a Denver native that grew up experiencing everything the Colorado outdoors has to offer. Just over a year ago Niki picked up a fly rod for the first time and has been obsessed ever since. In that short amount of time, she has become a board member for The Greenbacks, an ambassador for WETFLY, and is excited to join The Mayfly Project as a mentor.
Greg is 65 years old, presently a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty in Denver, Colorado. Greg has work in the medical device sales industry prior to real estate. Greg has also lived in Denver for about 5 years and is an avid fly fisherman for 25 years.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Austin started fly fishing in Colorado, cutting his teeth on summer dry fly fishing. In high school, he moved to Upstate New York, where he obtained his guide license and spent his time in pursuit of Lake-run Salmon, Steelhead and Brown Trout. As an Outdoor Educator, Austin loves nothing more than to get people excited about being outside, and has held positions such as a Camp Outpost Director and L.L.Bean's Outdoor Discovery School Coordinator for Colorado. He has made it a priority to invest in the lives of High Schoolers in the greater Denver area by working with local schools to provide programming to get their kids outside.
Kristina is originally from Delaware and started fly fishing about seven years ago. Since then, she has worked throughout the U.S. and enjoys exploring new places with a fly rod in hand. As a professional forester and former rafting guide, Kristina is excited to share her love of fishing and the outdoors with the Mayfly Project kids.
David is originally from Little Rock, AR and started fly fishing on the Little Red River north of Little Rock when he was about 7 years old. Since then, he has fished in many places throughout the United States and has fallen in love with the sport. Fly fishing has been very good to David, teaching him conservation and allowing him to recharge and relax on the river, even when the fish aren't biting. He wants to share these gifts with others.
David works in the real estate industry in Denver and is very happy to be a mentor for the Mayfly Project.
Kaitlin Barnhart, Project Coordinator, Writer
Coeur'd Alene, Idaho
Kaitlin joined TMP in April, 2016 and has helped develop the program in several foundational areas. With a BA in Psychology, and over 15 years working in the mental health field with children in foster care, she understands the needs of this population, as well as the benefits of taking foster children fly fishing. As a project coordinator, Kaitlin connects mentors with their local Department of Child Services, supports start-up projects and provides program management and training along with the Westbrooks. Kaitlin is also a freelance writer, blogger, and a mother to three wonderful children. Check out her personal blog to read about some of the crazy things she is up to, balancing her fly fishing addiction and parenting: www.mammaflybox.wordpress.com
Hailey has a BA in Healthcare Administration and is a Administrative Operations Coordinator for her company. She is an outdoor enthusiast, fly-fishing lover, wannabe skier, and a mother of a darling six-year-old girl. She is passionate about helping children and has tremendous faith in the power of resiliency that lies within us all. Hailey says, "I love The Mayfly Project because it provides an opportunity to help empower foster children and to help them tap into that resiliency by reminding them that they matter and teaching them that they can accomplish difficult things while also having fun". Hailey is a great mentor and a huge asset to our North Idaho team!
Dr Carl Smolka
Originally from upstate New York where he fished since he could walk, Carl has been involved with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and at Fort Meade in Maryland since its inception, dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and also with Casting for Recovery, a program to enhance the quality of life of women with breast cancer through a unique retreat program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. Carl, father of three and grandfather of five, believes people are at their best outside, in touch with nature.
Marc is originally from Carlisle Pennsylvania, home of the famous LeTort spring creek. He grew up spending time outdoors camping, hunting, and fishing. He is a past Board member for the Potomac-Patuxent Trout Unlimited Chapter and currently sits on the Board for the Mid-Atlantic Council of Trout Unlimited.
Marc, his wife, and ten-year-old son, and their dog, Boomer reside in Maryland and he runs the IT department for an international non-profit based in Washington DC.
Marc believes that there is real value in teaching someone how to fly fish even if that person does not take up the sport for many years to come. Once someone has been taught, that barrier to get into the sport no longer exists later in life. He also believes that every new angler is a new conservationist.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Rachel is originally from San Francisco, but now resides in Silver Spring Maryland. I have been fishing since I was eight years old. I started fly fishing later in life. What I really like is the intersection of understanding the workings of stream ecology with the fun of casting and catching fish. I enjoy all fishing, whether it is fishing for small native fish or chasing large steelhead and salmon. I look forward to sharing my love of nature and fishing with the youth of the Mayfly Project!
Marissa is a licensed veterinarian technician and also has a BA of Science in Biology. She absolutely loves the water and everything included with it, especially fly fishing. Her senior thesis was on a local streams macroinvertebrates, she chose this so she could improve the quality of water for one of the only cold water trout streams in Nebraska. Marissa is very passionate about helping kids as well as teaching them fish. She previously worked with Nebraska Game and Parks in their Trout in the Classroom program as well as Fishing in Nebraska schools. Marissa was adopted as an infant and have always had a fondness working with foster kids and helping them find someone to connect with. She thinks fishing and being near any water source provides incredible opportunities to bond as well as brings clarity and peace to anyone enjoying it. Her hope to provide this for foster kids in Nebraska, as well as the skills and passion to continue fly fishing into their adult lives
I was raised on the Missouri river with my first time being when I was just 2 weeks old. I have a strong love and an even stronger respect for the water. I also love riding my motorcycle, playing golf, snowboarding, or just being outside with my friends. The Mayfly Project is something I am very excited to be a part of so I can help kids learn how to Fly Fish and give them an escape from everyday life.
Born in raised in Alabama, Cory spent hot summer days fishing small ponds and saltwater while visiting family in Florida. After college, he decided to pick up a fly rod on whim and hasn’t looked back since. While living in Washington state, Cory fishes small mountain streams, alpine lakes, large tailwaters, and cold rocky beaches for salmon and his beloved sea run cutthroat trout. After moving to North Carolina and becoming a full time Stay at home Dad, things came full circle to fishing for warm water species and the Florida salt. Cory considers himself an equal opportunity fly fisher by chasing anything that will take a fly, and is always looking for an opportunity to explore a new fishery. The Mayfly Project is his perfect opportunity focus and share this passion to others!
Spartanburg, South Carolina
From a young age, Rob has loved spending time outdoors. When he first tried fly fishing, approximately 8 years ago, he fell in love with being on the water and the peacefulness of the river. When he can’t be out on the water, Rob enjoys tying new flies and researching fishing techniques. Rob lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina with his wife and two dogs and works as a Mechanical Designer.
Ben is the Assistant Manager of Youth Development and Outdoor Programming Coordinator at West Central Community Center. A Spokane, WA native, he grew up with constant access to the great outdoors. Ben often found himself casting a line into the Spokane River or just exploring all that nature has to offer. Ben has been fly fishing for his entire life but has made it his passion over the past several years; finding that it’s not only fun but highly therapeutic. When he’s not on the river he can usually be found spending time with his wife, four children, dog, and 28 chickens. Ben also serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Riverside State Park Foundation.
Having grown up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and less a quarter mile from the South River in Virginia, Jason began began fly fishing at twelve years old. His first fly rod, an L.L. Bean First Cast seven footer, has caught everything from wild brookies in the Appalachian Mountains to rainbow trout in Wyoming. Jason currently lives in the nation's capitol, so he spends a lot of time fishing in his native Virginia, Northern Maryland, and the Potomac River in downtown DC. Apart from fishing, Jason holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia and currently works as an assistant preconstruction manager for a real estate development and construction company, responsible for developing preconstruction budgets for multifamily real estate projects.